Good job -> good self-worth? Chicken or egg?

I’ve started writing to the sound of Jonsi’s Grow Till Tall for the past two posts. I don’t know why turning this song on assists me with writing, but it feels like an invitation. I’m sure I will tire of it, but everyone should listen to Jonsi every once in a while.

Well here is a milestone – the first time I’ve put out a post in a consecutive week. I have been thinking about writing all week. A good sign? And writing this post is what got me out of bed, somewhat sleep deprived – I went to bed around 3am, got up at 9am with a bit of a hangover and here I am. I even knew I had to write now instead of later because I won’t have time – this is some high level thinking going on for me (slight sarcasm, although it is kind of a biggish deal for me – have to celebrate the small stuff right?)

I hate going onto WordPress. I dread it. I think I dread this feeling of being disappointed? What if no one looked at my post at all? Or worse, what if they did and hated it? I’ve just gotta get over that.

But thank you to the 9 visitors of last week, and an especially big thank you to MovieBabble and definingyellow for the likes.

Eventually I’d like to actually plan out what I am going to write about and maybe center around some kind of topic, but right now, I’m just going to write…now.

Another difficultish week. I have huge issues of self-esteem in connection to what I do for a living. Right now I have a job I thought I would never have. I have two jobs now, one full-time (which is the one I kind of hate). The other is actually kind of a saving grace. That’s the one, even though I only do it about 5 hours per week, is the one people kind of latch onto (if I tell people about my main one at all because I am so embarrassed to, although I am getting more and more bold (and possibly just more curious about reactions) to tell people). I wish I could just tell it on here, and someday I think I will, but right now I am just kind of paranoid.

But when I do finally leave that place – hoohoo boy will there be a post or two. I could do a whole blog about this experience.

So am I taking steps to leave this job if it is “the source” of my shame? Kind of, not really. Any kind of activity where I could be rejected or possibly fail gives me incredible anxiety, and then I just participate in some kind of distraction. Is writing just a distraction? Yes, but at least… I dunno… it certainly feels different than watching endless YouTube videos until I have to haphazardly rush to get ready for said terrible job, taking a shower while trying to making a hand brew coffee, and then, once on the road, cursing myself and my life, trying to find a satisfactory existential answer to how I and everything in this world came to be this way both from a theist and atheist perspective. That goes on for the next 8.5 hours, give or take a bit of a podcast here or there.

Job. Self-worth. What you do with your life. Self esteem. Hey stranger friend of my friend Mary-Sue, nice to meet you. Oh you’re a graphic designer? An engineer? In med school? Cool. This is what I do for a living. Cheers. What are you drinking? Oh, by the way, I’m stuck in a holding pattern of blaming my poor life decisions on my  upbringing / life circumstances instead of trying to take some responsibility and just getting myself where I want to be. Want to dance?

Ah but it’s the other way around dummy. Good self-worth is what brings a good job. Right, I forgot it was that simple.

What is a “good job”? What is self worth?

And why not just get a fucking better job? Why do I feel so stuck?

Every time I bring myself to try and update my resume, write a cover letter, or apply to a job I hit a wall. My anxiety overflows.

I have been putting around the idea of living on my own in another country. The only way I could do that is by teaching English. That doesn’t sound too terrible (teaching English), but I’ve never done it. And the real terror is, would I fall apart, feeling truly alone, unable to meet with the few friends I have, or would I feel energized? I traveled abroad alone – a first for me – a few months ago and it was incredible. I’ve never been truly on my own before. I’ve always been surrounded by people, and especially growing up, by those who were always telling me to do things instead of developing my own imitative and interests.

Good self-worth -> Good job?

Address anxiety and low self-worth -> ability to apply to job -> good job

Address anxiety. Hey that’s a good name for a blog. You know, because ‘address’ can mean two different things? And it’s got the alliteration thing going for it? I could go further.

SOC (stream of consciousness time). Read at your own peril or just skip.

Low self-worth. I am not worthy. I don’t deserve attention. I can only get attention if I am accomplished. If I can tell Mary-Sue’s accomplished friend that I, too, am accomplished. Otherwise I get a, huh, you’re not interesting – next. You’re not interesting. What is interesting? You hold my attention and interest. What you DO holds my attention and interest. Why? The ability for fame / money? Job X has the potential for money / fame – that’s why engineer is more interesting than non-engineer. Your personality is not enough. Your character is not enough. Your interests are not enough. It’s what you do with your life. If you don’t do X, then what are you? Shame. Worthlessness. Can’t sell myself.

I was talking with a friend last night and I divulged to him that the only thing I really want is for my father to want to have a conversation with me. My fantasy is for my father to call me and ask if I want to have a drink, and then we go and talk, and he just listens to me while I talk about stuff, stupid or no. This is one of the fundamental forces that drives my sense of worthlessness. Good job = good attention from others = good attention from my father and maybe he would have stayed. I was too fucking boring and that’s why.

UGH. Here I am stumbling along. My thoughts are a messish, but I don’t care. I care about output / habit developing right now. Right now this is pretty unpolished stuff, but I’m doing the output. My goal is 1/week, every Sunday I guess. Maybe if I had several categories or pages within my blog my entries could be a little more focused (eg. the page that deals with anxiety / self worth, the page that deals with my thoughts on politics – oh god – the page where I share some fiction writing – double oh god. And I don’t know why I share the stream of conscious stuff, or why I feel like I have to regurgitate and document EVERY thought I have right at that moment – the half scientist / psychologist in me thinks if I reveal some of the inner workings, I’ll see more of the source, and be better able to help myself. I don’t know.

Gratitude:
Curry powder – makes everything tastes better.
Random deep conversations with friends.
An old friend calling out of the blue.
Friends?
Friends.

Thanks for reading.

Hope your next week goes well. MBM

An evening of coping with anxiety, despair, and depression

Phase 1 – Denial. Rushing around. Doing things. Doing your job. Going on a run.

Phase 2 – Shit hits the fan with no escape. God no this is real. This is happening. No, no, no, no. Not this. A thousand nos. Sitting on your floor with racing thoughts. Could I turn to this person? This person? That person? Him? Her? Them? No…no…no…no. Alone. I am alone and I … this is all fucked up. I’m fucked up.

Phase 3 – Brief wonder about what my preferred method would be.

Phase 4 – In the shitstorm of despair that is my mind, there are flashes of the ideal group of friends. Flashes of the ideal mentor. Flashes of being loved by my own self. A smile. A denial. At first I feel completely disconnected to it. I am just observing, pushing away, and then seeing the flash again.

Phase 5 – Flashes / Imagining of the ideal become longer. Maybe there are glimmers of feeling in the body. This is the turning point. The internal screams become softer.

Phase 6 – Feel my body again. Feel my aloneness. But I am surviving. Despite my situation, my body doesn’t care – it wants food. I am alone, but I can take care of myself. [Pause for a moment to see my privileges – I have shelter, food, access to a shower, able-bodied. The crises are all internal. No less agonizing, but it could be much worse.]. Get up and take a shower.

Phase 7 – Amidst fits of crying, ups and downs, then sitting on the floor of the bathtub as water spills over me, looking up at the spout, feeling the moment. The warmth. The water. My body. A breath. All these sensations. I am alone, but I am not dead, and I am in company with sensation and breath.

Phase 8 – New ideas. Introspection. A kind of calm. The anxiety, fear, and pain are still there, but they are now shadows. I see the reflection of their eyes, and maybe a silhouette or two, as they wait in the darkness at the edge of the light of the fire. What is the fire? Is it hope?

Do animals have hope? Is that how they fight against depression? Are animals existential? Rhetorical questions?

A message to anyone reading this struggling with despair / loneliness: I am sorry. I am so sorry. It fucking sucks. It feels like the worst thing in the world. I wish I could take your pain away. Things that have / are helping me:

  • Therapy (this develops the ability to comfort, see, accept, and understand yourself when you are alone. I think there comes a time when even your therapist is not able to give you the kind of seeing/understanding you need. But when you have developed critical introspection tools, there is an ability to stand beside yourself, even in really dark times.
  • Exercise (I think a lot of anxiety is partly the built-up unused and excess energy of the body due to a sedentary lifestyle. There’s also a lot of science to back up the health / mental health benefits of exercise
  • Music, shower, writing, breathing, hugging yourself – anything that creates a kind of positing stimulation to begin to anchor you to the moment
  • Imagination: visualization of the ideal of whatever you need being there right with you. Make sure it’s a need and not just a craving / want. What do you desperately need right now? What would it feel like to have that right now? Feel it.
  • Recommended music:
    • Against the Sky -Harold Budd & Brian Eno
    • Even if You’re Never Awake -Stars of the Lid

Honesty.

Courage.

Good luck friend.

170713 Thursday – Day 3

Partner is moving (will break up). I calm myself down after having racing thoughts.

5.5-6 hours of sleep.

Am I writing for people? Am I writing for myself?

What is happening?

(I am in one of my spiraling inner panic / anxiety / self-doubt episodes right now).

My partner is moving several states away soon, and at first I thought maybe I’d move out there with them, but there’s a new opportunity for me here, and as a result, we will probably break up.

Feeling a whole mix of emotions.

Calm.

Deep breath.

Calm.

7:41 AM – There’s this kind fascinated horror that happens – there’s the ‘panicker’:

“But what about this?! And what about that?! And this?!” They’re running around, flopping down in despair. Just kind of crazy, and all the while, there’s this other part, the observer, that can only watch:

“Uhhhhhh” And the observer is kind of panicking, too: “Dunno what to do! Dunno what to do! D…”

But deep breaths.

One thing at a time. One

thing

at

a

time.

 

Calm. Deep breaths.

 

I feel the chaos.

 

And I can also feel the calming effect of deep breaths.

Both can be true.

 

This blog keeps me accountable.

This blog helps keep me accountable.

(See how I like to externalize responsibility?)

 

Now I feel like crying.

 

Relax the shoulders.

 

So…

so much tension…carried in there.

Relax the back the arms.

Hard to open the chest while typing.

But I want to relax that too.

Always crying.

Always in pain.

But always in breath, too.

Gah that was melodramatic.

Roll credits. (Self-hate)

So…

Breaths.

Breaths.

I don’t feel…Ok, a part of me doesn’t feel like this breakup will be good for me. It’s established so much stability in my life. It’s brought me a lot of joy. Have learned tons about myself and how to navigate awkward, difficult parts with someone very close to you.

“They fill me with so much joy” (i.e. I won’t have that joy when they’re gone).

“When I see them, when I am with them, I feel joy.” (This takes more agency).

What is the self? (Rising panic, and beginning philosophical ramble: where is the human race headed? does my life mean anything? what would it take to get to a society living in harmony with itself and the rest of the biosphere? nothing I do matters. it’s all hopeless. Is there an afterlife? What difference would it make?)

All of this is a way to keep myself stimulated. It’s distracting. It causes more anxiety.

What’s helpful right now?

Making a schedule for the day:

Just made my list. It’s just one thing at a time.

Embodying the parent.

Fostering the parent self.

The parent self is calm. It doesn’t necessarily know what to do, but it knows that being confidently, gently calm with deep breaths, and thinking about basic next steps just for today, are important.

Foster the parent self.

So, a lot of this is very stream-of-conscious, if you couldn’t tell already. 8:08am Lolz